Syrian state Television made the announcement that Russia had commenced air strikes in the country.
President Bashar al-Assad confirmed he had requested military assistance from Russia.
A US military observer claimed Russia had bombed Syrian rebel positions around Homs and Hama.
Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out Russian objectives:“First of all we will support Syrian army only in its legitimate fight, specifically against terrorist groups. Secondly the support will be from the air without participation of ground troops. And thirdly – such support will be limited in time.”
The United States added that it was seeking urgent military to military talks with Russia.
Speaking at the UN, US Secretary of State John Kerry made the US position clear: “We must not and will not be confused in our fight against ISIL with support for Assad. Moreover we have also made clear that we would have grave concerns should Russia strike areas where ISIL and al-Qaeda affiliated targets are not operating.”
The US and its allies have demanded that Assad leave office, while Russia supports its ally remaining in power.